WWE’s Golden Opportunity

By Drew McConnell

In sixty two days, WWE will present its biggest annual event – WrestleMania XXX from the SuperDome in New Orleans. For weeks now, if you had an internet connection and the desire to know, you could go online and find most of the WrestleMania lineup. That’s not completely unheard of, as I can recall numerous years where we knew, or at least had a very good idea, of where things were headed. And this year was no different. And then last week happened.

If you logged on to your favourite wrestling website in the days leading up to the Royal Rumble, you likely had a good idea where WrestleMania plans stood. You would have seen matches such as Batista vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Title; The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar; Triple H vs. CM Punk; Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus; and John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt. Those five matches were being floated around as this year’s main attractions for WrestleMania. Again, that was until last week. With the emotional upheaval of the Pittsburgh crowd at the Royal Rumble, traditionally WWE’s #2 PPV of the year, and the sudden unceremonious departure of the company’s #2 babyface, CM Punk, WWE finds themselves at an unexpected crossroads. And a golden opportunity.

I’m sure some people felt differently, but of the people I’ve talked to, almost all of them had the same reaction to the aforementioned ‘Mania card: apathy. People didn’t care about any of those proposed matches. Even most people were surprisingly down on the idea of Lesnar & Undertaker. Perhaps because it was done copiously more than a decade ago, or maybe it’s because they don’t feel that Lesnar and ‘Taker could not have the “five star” classics fans have come to expect from the “Deadman” every April. Whatever the reasons, one thing is clear; people don’t want what was being planned. Given the crowd’s visceral reaction to the Orton/Cena match, and the lack of Daniel Bryan in the Rumble, including the complete rejection of Big Dave Batista, company officials need to recognize a change is needed. And based on reports over the weekend, they have.

Multiple sites, including PW Torch and PW Insider, reported that WWE Creative partook in some major meetings late last week. The topic of discussion? WrestleMania. WWE realized with last week’s bizarre happenings, alternative plans were needed. According to the reports, various new matches have been discussed. Here’s a look at some of the new bouts being bandied about:

-Batista vs. Brock Lesnar
-The Undertaker vs. John Cena
-Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan
-Sheamus vs. Kane

These are just a few of the matches that were being thrown around, as some matches also include CM Punk, whom Vince McMahon is going to try very hard to have back in the fold before April 6th. But let’s suppose for a second that those four listed matches are the top four they go with. I can’t be the only one that would be way more satisfied with this than what had been rumoured. Batista vs. Brock Lesnar feels like a WrestleMania match. Hell, it feels like a big time main event. Undertaker and John Cena is the one big match that hasn’t happened since Cena became the man. It should happen. Triple H vs. Bryan should happen as well. If you’ve been listening to Against The Mat, you would know that I’ve been advocating for this match since September. It just makes the most sense. As for Sheamus vs. Kane, it falls into the “meh” category. I would personally like to see Sheamus replace Cena in the match against Wyatt.

Although last week has been claimed by some as the “week from hell” given the Rumble crowd hijacking, and CM Punk’s departure, it may also be known as a week that in hindsight, turned into a major positive. It gave WWE a great opportunity, a golden opportunity if you will, to shake things up and make WrestleMania XXX the spectacle that it should be.

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